The priest's house below the sepulchral chapel


In 1821, Giovanni Salucci designed the priest's house and the psalmists' house at King Wilhelm I's request. The buildings were intended for a cleric and his family and for two liturgical singers, respectively, who were to pray for the salvation of the departed queen.

Queen Katharina von Württemberg, painting circa 1816 by Stirnbrand

Priests and liturgical singers prayed for her salvation: Queen Katharina.


The Russian Orthodox cleric and the two liturgical singers were engaged by King Wilhelm I to pray and sing at the chapel daily. The liturgies were able to get through to the tomb of Katharina von Württemberg, who died in 1819, through a grate in the chapel floor. According to the queen's Orthodox faith, the ruling between everlasting salvation and perpetual torment is not made until Judgment Day. The divine prayers and song were intended to accompany Katharina's soul until that time.

The psalmists' house below the sepulchral chapel

The psalmists' house is a simple, functional structure.


In order for priests and liturgical singers to care for Katharina's soul, the king had two homes built for them below the chapel. By foregoing architectural ornamentation, the pair of residences emphasize the architectural importance of the sepulchral chapel. The priest's house is reminiscent of a Tuscan villa and its simple and quiet shape is captivating. The psalmists' house is also simple. And yet, together, Salucci's sepulchral chapel and the two homes form a considered unit.


Orthodox clerics used the priest's house until 1895, after which it served as a home for custodians of the sepulchral chapel. Between 2015 and 2016, the priest's house was renovated based on Salucci's historic plans and a visitor center was established. The psalmists' house can still be viewed from the outside today. With the opening of the priest's house, Salucci's original unified concept for the sepulchral chapel and its functional structures can again be conveyed authentically.

Foyer of the visitor center in the priest's house at the sepulchral chapel
The priest's house as visitor center

The priest's house has served as the visitor center for the Sepulchral Chapel on Württemberg Hill since 2017.

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